More than 1,000 people have attended a fundraiser in aid of the charity which supports parents at a time of unimaginable heartbreak.
Llandovery’s Owl’s Nest Tearoom Diner held a charity motorcycle ride-out in aid of Sands – the stillbirth and neonatal death charity – which offers help and support for parents whose babies have died during or shortly after pregnancy.
The event was organised by Owl’s Nest owner Ian Marquis, whose daughter Elouise Sylvia was stillborn 14 years ago.
“The aim of the event was to raise awareness of the work of Sands in helping people through one of the most traumatic experiences anyone will ever have to face,” said Ian.
Ian, wife Sue and daughters Angharad, aged 24, Alicia, 13, and Annabelle, 10, came up with the idea of a Sands fundraiser after keen biker and regular Owl’s Nest customer Dean Evans suggested a charity ride-out.
Ian and family could never have imagined the support they would receive as bikers from across the country flocked to the diner – a favourite with motorcyclists – to offer their backing.
“We never imagined we would have the support we did,” said Ian.
“More than 1,000 people came throughout the day and around 60 took part in the ride-out.
“We had riders turning up from as far away as Leeds, it was simply unbelievable.
“People came out to support us from far and wide Sands and to support our family.
“It was a fabulous response.”
Ian said more must be done to support parents who find themselves in the horrific position of dealing with the death of their baby.
“It is so important that parents are given the right support,” he said.
“They need help, but all too often people do not know what to say so it is so important that professionals are there to help."
Ian was quick to praise the work of mid-wives and health workers who are often the main pillar of support for bereaved parents.
"They are extremely good," he said, and added how delighted he was that a number had attended the ride-out to offer advice and support to those affected by child deaths.
Ian raised more than £750 at the event and has plans for further fundraisers in future.
He already has put in place plans for a fundraising auction.
For more information visit Owl's Nest Tearoom Diner on facebook.